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Denver7 crew takes tour of Florida Everglades outside Miami on Nuggets off-day

Denver7 showcasing some of the most iconic places in South Florida, including the picturesque and Everglades, home to gators and crocodiles alike
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Posted at 5:41 PM, Jun 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-09 08:37:30-04

MIAMI — While downtown Miami is a cosmopolitan urban city center, just a half-hour drive west takes you to a different world.

“You wouldn’t expect just a 30-minute drive from Miami you have something like this out here,” said Daniel Allen, an airboat captain with Airboat in Everglades. “It’s like stepping back in time once you really get out here in the Everglades.”

Allen offers tours of one of the most scenic and wondrous places in America, if not the world.

“We offer a private, up close, intimate encounter with these animals,” Allen said. “And they’re all 100% wild animals. They’re not kept in cages, not raised on farms, these are all wild and we go get up close and personal with them.”

And it’s not long before we get up close and personal with a gator on our tour.

“This is what they call a gator hole,” Allen said. “That’s the momma right there. That’s an alligator we’ve nicknamed Ali. She’s coming over here to make sure we don’t mess with her nest. She has her nest right back here in this tall grass.”

Allen estimates Ali is about 8 years old.

“If I look at the distance from her eyes to her nostrils, that will tell me how big she is and how old she is,” Allen said. “For example, it’s about eight inches from Ali’s eyes to her nostrils. Then, she’ll in turn be about 8 years old and she’ll be 8 feet long.”

The waters are incredible – saw grass marshes with a rich history.

“They were actually inhabited by the Miccosukee Native American tribe,” Allen said. “They were originally the Seminole tribe, and they split. In the Miccosukee native language, they call this pa-hay-okee, which in English translates to grassy water or river of grass.”

It's a 4,300-square mile slow-moving river of fresh water from north to south Florida that attracts tens of thousands of tourists a year.

“This is our first time down here in the Everglades,” said Scott Wilson, who was visiting with his family from Pennsylvania. “We thought it would be pretty fun.”

“If you fall over out here, you stand up because the water is only about a foot-and-a-half deep. That’s why we use these boats to get around because that’s the water level right there. It’s a beautiful place.”

Tour the Florida Everglades with Denver7's Russell Haythorn

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